Jun 5, 2009


We had such a busy weekend last weekend and have jumped into such a busy week that I haven't had a chance to post pictures of All The Fun!

Last Saturday after the photo shoot at the park, I picked up my cousin Lesley's two oldest sons (they just had a third son in April) to come spend the night with us. It was an absolutely gorgeous day -- albeit a little warm for my taste -- so we'd planned to go back to The Preserve, which is always a popular destination. (And WHY they took the pictures shown on that site in the dead of winter when everything looked post-Armageddon is beyond me.)

Of course, no trip to The Preserve can start off in the proper fashion without climbing the Big Dirt Hill. (You may remember from our last outing that this isn't a "natural" part of The Preserve, but rather the result of nearby construction. No matter ... it's a real highlight for boys.)

After we tore them away from the dirt, we headed in to the Boulder Field to hike down to the creek. Here are the kiddos in front of one of the larger boulders:

And yes, there is some graffiti on the boulders, and yes, it makes me sad and also makes me want to ask the perpetrators' mothers if they raised their kids in a barn and if they also let them pee in the kitchen sink. But I'm not bitter.

Not far down the trail, FROG SIGHTING. FROOOOOOOOG SIGHTING! And there was much rejoicing.

I had to get down practically UNDER THE LOG WITH THE FROG to get his picture. The first time I took it, I didn't use the flash. And I swear to you, you couldn't see one iota of him. I had to use the flash to be able to make him out at all, and you can see why. He was very well camouflaged!

Here's an example of why Moss Rock Preserve is very aptly named:

Several yards past the frog, we encountered Real Climbers. The boys are always excited when we can watch climbers at work, and we had ample opportunity for that last Saturday. There were several here ...

... and a few more here ...

At long last, and to the boys' great relief, we made it to the creek. And everyone got in the water lickety-split. Within like .02 seconds, literally.

And they didn't spare any energy getting as wet and dirty as possible. Which was fine, really, since I totally wanted to wear them out so that by the time we got home, they'd be calling for mercy. And by "mercy," I mean "naps."

Of course, Jakey was NOT to be left out. He assumed his usual position at the water's edge, rocks in hand, paci in mouth, happy as a clam.

Oh, what a beautiful day it was! The boys just had a marvelous time. You can tell from the opacity of the creek water in the background of this shot just how energetic they were ... the water was crystal clear before we got here!

We wanted to keep moving, so we promised a dip in a deeper pool if they'd move on down the trail. Bingo! Those were the magic words.

Not three minutes from the spot in the creek where we'd been is a beautiful waterfall, and it has a great pool at its base.

The water just cascades down several levels of rock and runs through a pool with a depth of about 2.5 to 3 feet.

Again, everyone was in immediately! Good times. It is really LOUD down there because of the crashing sound of the moving water. At one point, I shouted to Grayson that I felt like I had a new mantra: "One, two, three, four, five. One, two, three, four, five. One, two, three, four, five." I couldn't stop counting their heads, over, and over, and over again.

With our three, I can still quickly seek them out wherever we are with a short mental checklist of "Nate, Nick, Jake." Somehow, with five, they all turned into numbers. It was shorter and simpler, and it was just a natural transition that I didn't even realize I'd made until I'd probably muttered the numbers 100 times to myself.

Cousin B had quite a time splashing in the pool and taking it all in.

And then while he was splashing around, he called out, "I'm drowning! I'm drowning!" And we put him in Time Out and explained that that is no laughing matter.

But Time Out on a rock at The Preserve is pretty much the Porsche of Time Outs, right, B?

Meanwhile, everyone else was really enjoying themselves. And while no man is an island ...

... I think Jakey really liked HAVING one all to himself.

At one point, Grayson moved up to a nice vantage point beside the waterfall.

When I'd decided that I needed a break from Counting to Five Without Ceasing, we hauled everyone out of the pool and headed a little farther up the trail to another familiar waterfall.

We set Jake down in a little stagnant pool to play, but He'd Have None of THAT, thankyouverymuch. He immediately set out toward the More Exciting Water.

"I can make it. I can make it. I can make it. AND DON'T TOUCH ME."

"I'm so close. I'm so close. I'm so close. And don't even THINK about helping me."

"Almost there. I AM DOING THIS."

"SWEET VICTORY IN JESUS. I have made it, and now I shall rest in the cool running water with my hands placed adorably on my dimpled knees."

After nearly three-and-a-half hours of hiking, swimming, splashing, and generally More Fun Than You Can Shake A Stick At, we collected everyone and started heading back up to the trail head. Cousin G and Nathaniel checked out one of the boulders on the way up.

And there was absolutely No Question About It: The day got a big thumbs-up from Jakey, who can't wait to go back.

Some days I just feel like I can't even count the blessings, they are so great.


Sarah T. said...

So fun! Can't wait to go there in a few weeks with you!

Lisa said...

That first waterfall is the one that we waded all the way down the creek to get to and then climbed down the waterfall. No trail for us, and, by the grace of God, no sprained ankles.

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